Thursday, February 25, 2010

Flashback Fridays

(July 29th, 2008)

Thought I would start doing Flashback Friday to share an old photo.

This picture was taken of Ava and I on "Adoption Day" the day after Gotcha Day. We went back to finalize the adoption and she was forever ours!! It was soooo hot in this building, I was so sweaty!

I cant believe how much she has changed in 18 months. She was so little here. Her hair was so short but after 4 boys that bow was going in her hair even if I had to super glue it! ha

She was not too sure about me and really took to her Daddy. It took her about a month to feel some what comfortable with me. After waiting for so long it was so hard that first month. It finally took Daddy going back to work full time for her to look to me for comfort.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Black and White Wednesday

O how I love the deck that wraps around our home, especially in the summer. We have some of the most wicked thunder storms every summer. We have the second highest lightning strikes in the US with Florida being the highest.

Pretty much every day around 2:00pm the thunder storms roll in over the mountain range. As the summer goes on the thunder storms get later in the the day and usually finish up around 7:00pm.

One of our favorite summer activities is the sit on the deck and watch the God's awesome lightning show. Until it gets too close for comfort and we head inside and watch it from a safer location!!

We have had the lightning hit a little to close and has brought us ducking for cover even in the safety of our home!! It has made our windows shake and we have lost a few TVs since we have lived here. We have learned to go around the house and unplug everything each afternoon.

My hubby loves to set up his tripod on the deck and click away. He has caught some amazing shots!!

Please stop by Lisa's blog and enjoy many more B&W's from some talented photographers!

Monday, February 22, 2010

The difference between Boys and Girls & a Great friend

(boy #4 Keaton, Ava and my nieces)

I have a dear friend Ann that I have know for 13 years now. She has been my mentor for adding a child to our family via adoption.

Almost 13 years ago I had just had my #2 baby boy and I was nursing exclusively. I had a over production of milk, a major over production of milk. Not only did I nurse my baby boy 24/7 I also pumped over 60 ounces of milk at day!!! Yes, I felt like a dairy cow!!

I hated throwing it down the drain so I froze every last ounce of that liquid gold. By the time my son was 6 months old I had filled my entire freezer!! I did not want it to go bad so I starting calling around to the hospitals and other organizations to find out if I could donate it. In the process of making calls I found out there was this gal on the other side of town that was getting ready to bring her first baby home from Korea. A beautiful 5 month old baby girl with unrepaired cleft lip and palette.

I called her and introduced myself. I told her about all the milk I had in the freezer and I heard she was looking for a possible donor. She came by and brought 2 of her 4 bio children and her beautiful new baby girl. I answered a few questions for her and showed her I was not at high risk for anything and we got to know each other. She brought a cooler and we filled it to the brim!! ha I dont even remember how many times we filled that cooler.

Her sweet baby girl received over 60 ounces of milk from me a day for over 6 months. It was such a blessing. We became friends fast and enjoyed each other families.

Fast forward 2 1/2 years later I had boy #3. And yes I had too much milk again. At the same time Ann had just arrived home with a precious baby boy from Korea. Guess what?? You guessed it I passed the extra milk to her new baby!!

Ann now has 8 precious children and still my mentor for raising a big family and now adopting an older child. She bought home Vu from Vietnam 2 years ago at almost 7 years old.

I also sadly watched her family lose a son to cancer at the age of 21, two years ago. I had already moved out of state but kept in touch via email and phone.

Ann has an amazing blog that I love to read. I learn so much from her blog but mostly she always makes me laugh. She and her hubby have built the most amazing family and the greatest kids. You can follow Ann's blog here.

This is copied from her blog. I laughed so hard I just had to share!! Enjoy
(sorry if you might be offended by the text)

By: crazy for kids


The Difference Between Boys and Girls

Recently, my daughters and I and a couple of their friends (girls) were driving to the store. Suddenly, we noticed the worst smell! It wasn't a skunk! It wasn't a barnyard! It wasn't the water treatment plant--but it did smell similar.

A couple of the girls started pointing fingers at each other followed by embarrassment and "she who smelt it, dealt it" comments. I looked in the rearview mirror and Kim's friend looked like she might cry.

Suddenly, I was inspired by a new family and friends rule. I threw it out to the girls and we all agreed it was an awesome rule:

When a gas-like odor emits, instead of pointing the finger at someone else, we will ALL say in unison, "IT WAS ME!"

We all agreed it was the ultimate in kindness. We all thought it was a great new rule, laughed and practiced saying, "It was me!"

A couple of days later we were in the car again. This time it was my daughters and my two youngest sons. Sure enough, that familiar gas-like odor appeared. Vu said, "Yuck! Who FARTED?!!" The girls and I proudly announced in unison, "It was me!" We laughed.

Then, Patrick said irritably, "No, it was ME."

The girls and I laughed again and put out a trio of, "It was me!" We tried to explain that it was going to be our new family rule, so nobody would feel embarrassed or unjustly accused.

"But it WAS me!!" Patrick boldly declared, "I FARTED and I want everyone to KNOW it was MY FART!"

I began to say something when Vu interupted with, "Mom, it WAS Patrick's fart and you should let him have his own fart."


Therein lies the difference between boys and girls.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Black and White Wednesday

Like I said last week I will be sharing some of my hubby's B&W pictures from over the past couple of years.

This photo was taken about 3 years ago at that famous California tourist destination! We had just moved from Oregon and were about 1 1/2 years into waiting for Ava. We had put everything on hold for awhile thinking we would be getting a referral soon. But we all know the answer to that story!

So we decided to surprise the kids and drive to CA and meet some great friends at Disneyland. The kids thought that we were going to visit Grandparents and had no idea their best friends would be there too.

Once they figured out we were going to Disneyland we decided to meet the other family at Joe's Crab shack next to the Hotel. They got there first and then we walked in, the kids were shocked to see their friends from Oregon in the same restaurant!!

We had a great 4 days together and hated to say goodbye again.

This was also a very sad time in our family because when we started our 2 day drive back home we found out the horrible news that my hubby's sister and my best friend had suddenly past away at 29 years old. We were on our way to the Grand Canyon and never made it. We drove straight home and jumped on a plane to Texas to help with the three young girls she left behind, while her hubby arranged the funeral. She suddenly got sick and past away within a couple days and we don't know what caused it.

Well I'm doing this post early in the morning before my kids get to school so I need to go get everyone on track and out the door! Have a wonderful Wednesday!!

Saturday, February 13, 2010


We getting ready to head to Chinese New Year celebration in an hour at a local Chinese Church!! Should be a lot of fun!! Our Chinese Princess is ready to go!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Black and White Wednesday

I cant believe it is Wednesday already!! It is time for B&W photo sharing. I'm going to take the next few Wednesday's and post some of my hubby's photos. He has a love for the camera and has taken many great pictures over the years.

This is one of my favorites!! It is a picture of Mt. Hood, this beautiful majestic mountain graced us with her beauty every day in Portland, OR; during the more than 10 years I lived there. (that is when it was not raining. ha)

The beauty that surrounded this mountain when the sun was shining was amazing!! You could be anywhere in the city and there it was as big as life!!

I will have to say I don't miss the NW at all. Yes, it is beautiful and green but there is a reason for that, RAIN, RAIN, RAIN and MUD, MUD, MUD!! The mud everywhere and with 4 boys that wanted to play outside I was not a happy Mama when they came back in and to add a 100 pound German Shepard that came in and out too!! Our basement was not a pretty site! ha

I do miss having water everywhere with the ocean and rivers and lakes. It is hard being land locked now but you cant have everything you want and somethings have to give. I'm just glad I have SUNSHINE now!

Too see the rest of the B&W's go to Lisa's Blog!

Monday, February 8, 2010

We are 1/2 way there!!!!

Just a little post to point out we are 1/2 way to our goal to
"Bring Home Gemma"!!

The total right now is $5,623.00!!! (this is Chipin + snail mail donations) How awesome is that??!!

So as of right now each of the charities listed will get a check for $1,405.00!!!

How cool is that??!!
But what we really want to see is each of those checks being $2,500.00.

Please help us to bring Gemma home!! Every little bit helps! We will probably need to pay the dossier fee and country fee in the next few days.

Thanks so much to all of you that have donated!! It means so much to our family and we are forever grateful!!!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Today is our daughters 9th Birthday! (In China)

Hubby and I enjoyed a Molton Lava cake in celebration of Gemma's 9th Birthday tonight. The kids will all be making Coke floats!!

I wonder if she knows there is a family in American waiting for her, preparing for her?? We will have missed 9 Birthdays. :-( I was really hoping to be LID by her Birthday so we could send her a care package and be communicating with her. I guess God has other plans right now and things are moving slowly. I need to practice patience and Im not very good at that.

There is also birth mother in China somewhere thinking about her baby girl that she left 9 years ago. O how her heart must ache too!!

I wonder what Gemma did today with her foster family? I pray she had a wonderful fun filled day and she knows in her heart her forever family is coming soon to get her. I pray that her heart will be opened to her new life in American and her new family. That our transition will go better than the fears I sometimes have.

We love you Gemma and Mommy and Daddy will be there soon!!!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Thankful Thursdays

(Just love this picture with her cheeks full of food!!)

Im Thankful that God puts people in your path to make some things easier!!

My hubby and I try and have lunch together about once a month or so. He works from home when he is not on a plane. We had not been out for lunch together for a long time. So today when we were out and about running dossier paperwork to be certified and turning in our i800a, we decided to eat at a new little Asian Fusion place in our small little town. We had dinner there with some friends on New Years and knew it was awesome food. The couple that owns it is so sweet and they just adore Ava to pieces. They will take Ava back to the kitchen and let her watch the amazing chef from Hong Kong. They also sneak her candy too!!

While we were in there today Linda, the owner, had a friend there having lunch. She introduced us to her and told us she was from Guangzhou. Her name is Jie Liu and she was so sweet. Linda told Jie Liu that we were bringing home an older daughter from Guangzhou this year. Jie Liu gave us her phone number and said she would love to be a translator for us when we bring Gemma home, she speaks Cantonese!! Praise God!! We had met many people that spoke Mandarin but not Cantonese. The best part is they live just a couple miles from us and she has a daughter that is a year younger than Gemma! Her daughter speaks fluent Cantonese too and just learned English last year.

This is such a load off. Having this connection and friendship before bringing Gemma home is just a miracle!! I hope it helps ease the transition for Gemma and also gives her a friend her age that speaks her native language. This will also make it so much easier for Gemma to keep her Cantonese and be able to continue to communicate with her foster family and friends once she is home with us.

Okay time to go back to working on my jewelry to raise more funds to bring Gemma home!!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Black and White Wednesday

Joining Lisa's B&W Wednesday wagon again!!

My husband took this picture of me about 4 years ago, walking down the shoreline in Oahu, Hawaii. He had a 4 day business trip and I got to sneak away with him and my Mom watched our kiddos. (I was not going to let him go to Hawaii without me! ha)

We did not get to spend a whole lot of time together because he was working but we did sneak away a couple times for some snorkeling and site seeing. It was heavenly to have some down time and R&R. We had also just made the decision to adopt and started looking at agencies.

**And the lucky WINNER for my GIVEAWAY IS #15, Sheila @
CONGRATS!!! I will be contacting you to get your mailing info!!
© Mei Meis and Mayhem